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GREENFIELD - Because providing all the underground parking originally planned would cost too much, the four apartment buildings planned for the massive 84South development in Greenfield are likely to be three stories instead of four.

Going to three stories enables the developer to have more surface parking and less underground.

The Greenfield Common Council was expected to approve the three-story plan Wednesday.

84South is a shopping, restaurant, office and residential complex under construction on Layton Avenue between 84th and 92nd streets. The ultimate value has been estimated at more than $150 million.

The change shaves 92 apartment from the plan, reducing the project 268 units.

The pared-down plan is a good move from the city's perspective, said Mayor Michael Neitzke. As a development incentive, Greenfield is providing financial assistance that the project will pay back through its property taxes. However, that much underground parking would have required more than the city wants to invest, Neitzke said.

The bigger plan would have yielded more tax money, he acknowledged, but said, "There is a point of diminishing returns, and the highest number of unit plan clearly didn't offer a reasonable return on investment for city taxpayers."

"While long-term, the tax base of 360 is more than 268, it was fiscally imprudent to be burdened by the significant TIF (city incentive) commitment to those units," Neitzke said. "The 268 number made conservative fiscal sense."

The number of underground parking stalls will go down from 426 to 274, while the number of surface parking spots will rise from 139 to 170. A total of 444 spaces will be provided, or 121 fewer than had been planned.

Neitzke pointed out that the original plan proposed 216 apartments. As the site evolved, city officials and the developer upped that to 360 units. The 268 is still higher than originally proposed, he said.

The apartments will be built on 7.5 acres on the west side of the 84South development. Unchanged in the plan will be a 3,800-square-foot area which will include a leasing office and common space features such as an outdoor pool, club room, fitness studio, tanning room, and other amenities.

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